Lege Artis Medicinae

[Focus on the diagnosis and therapy of chronic cough]

SZILASI Mária

JUNE 10, 2009

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2009;19(04-05)

[Cough by itself is not a disease but a part of a complex defense mechanism protecting from harmful materials entering the airways and cleaning the lungs and airways from potentially harmful materials. Normally, cough is accompanied by other defense mechanisms (bronchoconstriction and secretion of sputum) that increase the effectiveness of cough. Cough generally is caused by intrapulmonary disorders, but may be related to extrapulmonary lesions that are not easy to diagnose. In every case, an etiological diagnosis has to be the aim because this is the only way to proper treatment. From the abundance of reasons for cough, upper airway cough syndrome, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and gastro-esophageal reflux disease are discussed in detail.]

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[INTRODUCTION - Superior mesenteric artery syndrome is caused by vascular compression of the inferior transverse part of the duodenum due to the anomalous course of the superior mesenteric artery and/or a cranial shortening of the ligament of Treitz. Clinical caracteristics include postprandial epigastric pain, nausea, vomiting of bile, slow passage in the gastroduodenal passage, and as a consequence of the above, pernicious weight loss. CASE REPORT - In the case of a 35-year old woman with chronic abdominal symptoms for 6 years and 20 kg weight loss, CT-enterography revealed superior mesenteric artery syndrome. We identified an abnormally acute aortomesenteric angle of 7.3 degrees and a highly inserted ligament of Treitz as predisposing factors. We presume that the immediate cause of the development of severe vascular compression, in the case of our patient, was progressive weight loss due to a persistent Epstein-Barr virus infection. CONCLUSION - First in Hungarian literature we review the etiology, the radiological signs, the procedure of differential diagnosis, and the treatment options of superior mesenteric artery syndrome.]

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